LPD News Blog


Stay informed with the Lakeland Police Department News Blog.

On February 10, at 7:50 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a crash at S.R. 33 (HWY 33 N) at the intersection of Combee Road. The intersection is controlled by flashing traffic signals and posted signs. A vehicle driven by John M Zelle was northbound on S.R. 33. A vehicle driven by Clara C. Barber was westbound on Combee Road and turned in front of the vehicle driven by Zelle. It appeared to investigators that Barber was trying to make a left turn to head southbound on SR 33 when she proceeded into the path of Zelle who was driving a mini-van.

The collision resulted in the death of the right front passenger in Barbers vehicle. The deceased has been identified as Ricky Osborn Barber and he was pronounced deceased on the scene by a Lakeland Fire Department Paramedic. Next-of-kin has been notified. Ricky Barber did not have his seat belt on at the time of the traffic crash. The driver, Clara Barber was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) to be treated. Her condition is unknown at this time.

The driver of the mini-van, John Zelle was transported to LRMC for non-life threating injuries. A passenger in his vehicle, Eddy Fernandez sustained minor injuries and was treated at LRMC and later released.  

No charges have been filed and this crash is still under investigation.

Vehicle #1 – 2013 Dodge Avenger, 4door. Driven by Clara C. Barber 

Deceased – Ricky O. Barber 

Vehicle #2 – 1997 Chrysler Mini-van, driven by John M. Zella 

Passenger in Vehicle #2 – Eddy E. Fernandez 


Lilany Martinez was last seen on February 7, 2015, at approximately 12:00 a.m. at 703 Hull Street. It is unknown what she was wearing at the time she left. Ms. Martinez has black/dark red hair, brown eyes and wears blue contacts.

Martinez is on medication for bi-polar disorder. Martinez does not have a criminal history.

Ms. Martinez may be with her boyfriend Jonathan Salazar, 2226 Greenbriar Village.

If anyone has information on the location of Lilany Martinez, please contact Investigative Aide, Charlene Ali at (863) 834-8974.

Liliany Martinez
H/F, 16 years old
5’5”, 120 lbs.
LKA: 703 Hull Street

On Wednesday, January 13, 2015, the victim noticed her purse was missing from her vehicle in the 3000 block of Saddlebrook Way. The victim’s credit card was used at Super Choice Food Market by the two black female suspects.

Anyone with information on the identification of these individuals is asked to contact Detective Strickland at 863-834-8965, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #15-976  -  Detective S. Strickland  -  Bulletin CS #15-04


Lakeland Police are attempting to identify and speak with an individual in reference to the Grand Theft of a laptop/tablet valued at $1,000.00 from the Best Buy at 4215 Hwy 98 N in Lakeland. 

The individual is described as a black male with a short haircut, and possibly some facial hair. He was last seen wearing a white button down short sleeve shirt, dark pants and brown shoes.

Anyone with information on the identification of this individual is asked to contact Lakeland Police Department Detective Fetz at 863-834-8993, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #15-2132 
Officer D. Fetz
Bulletin CS #15-03